The audacity to cut defense while increasing the deficit

The Congressional Budget Office  has audited President Obama’s budget and found that it would generate deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year between 2010 and 2019. The nearly $2 trillion in deficit spending this year comes from increasing government spending so quickly that, quite literally, federal bureaucrats don’t even know how to spend it all. In this context, are we really supposed to take seriously claims that President Obama is cutting waste by eliminating the most sophisticated strike fighter in history, the F-22 Raptor? And are we really supposed to admire his green eyeshades as he adds $10 trillion to the national debt, but saves a few billion by cutting back on the Navy’s desperately needed F-18 Super Hornets?

The projected shortfalls of F-18 Super Hornets are now projected to be between 200 and 300 aircraft.  Since a typical aircraft carrier’s complement of fighters is only 50, a shortfall of 200 to 300 fighters is quite significant. President Obama admires audacity, but claiming to be “putting an end to some wasteful projects …” and “changing business-as-usual in Washington” is too audacious for this reader.

Chesterfield, Va.

Reduce immigration to rein in health costs

From Yeh Ling-Ling, executive director, Alliance for a Sustainable USA

(Regarding article “Immigration may threaten health vote,” Nov. 5). Census data show that recent immigrants and their U.S.-born children under 18 account for over 70 percent of the growth of the uninsured population in the United States. Furthermore, according to a Thomson Reuters report released Oct. 26, waste in the U.S. healthcare system could total up to $850 billion a year.

Isn’t it only common sense that Congress starts working on trimming waste and reducing immigration as first steps to achieve sensible healthcare reform?  American leaders should be told that it is irresponsible to keep borrowing from other countries to finance our needs.

Oakland, Calif.

H.R. 3017 upholds American values

From Robert Sledzaus

In 29 states including Virginia, it’s legal to fire otherwise-qualified employees because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. In 38 states, it’s legal to fire otherwise-qualified employees because they are transgender. Federal law protects workers against discrimination based on their race, gender, religion, national origin, and disability, but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017) would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This country was founded upon the principle of equal opportunity. Our government must continue to uphold this value for all Americans, whether they’re black, Christian, disabled, gay or transgender. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is not about special treatment. It simply gives these workers the same rights and protections as their colleagues. It comes down to ensuring that employees are judged for their performance, not for who they are.

In these troubled economic times, businesses large and small need to avail themselves of everyone ready, willing, and able to work.

It is so important that this legislation be passed, especially now in Virginia, where the Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli, has openly stated his racist and hateful views of the LGBT community. The LGBT community can’t expect any help from new powers that are soon to be in Richmond. We need this protection at the federal level.

Reston, Va.